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  1. #1
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    Recommendations for a Portrait Lens, M42 or Nikon F Mount

    I am looking for a portrait lens. I have a Pentax Spotmatic and a Nikkormat FTn, so any lens that will fit them would be my target. I have 3 categories:

    1. It must have a nice bokeh, not super creamy, it must just be pleasing to the eyes and not distracting (for example the Helios 44 bokeh is kinda distracting).

    2. Nice sharpness. I will be printing these to 8x10 so the details must be clear (Nice details in the picture is a product of sharpness right?)

    3. This might be the hardest part, but it must be below $100.

    The focal length that I am targeting for is 105mm, as I love that FL, but I am open to other FLs, like 85mm or 135mm. But as there are a ton of them, I don't really know what to pick. In the kit that I am building, the only lenses that I lack are a portrait lens and wide angle, and as I am going to do a portrait shoot soon, this is what I am looking for first.

  2. #2
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    I am no expert, and have not tried a lot of lenses. But I have been pleased with the 100mm series E for Nikon. Fairly fast (2.8), good Bokeh (to me) and cheap. Or, they were. I just checked KEH and the bargain grade copy they have is $133. I seem to recall paying a lot less from KEH about 6 years back.
    Last edited by MattCarey; 08-02-2011 at 12:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    narsuitus's Avatar
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    Here are my recommendations:

    1. Nikon 105mm f/2.5 (may not be able to find for less than $100)
    2. Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E (the best bang for the buck)
    3. Fujinon 135mm f/3.5 (has better bokeh than the 135mm Takumar)

    I own and use all three.

  4. #4

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    If you can find a micro Nikkor 105 it would give you macro capabilities as well.

    [U]http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  5. #5
    BradS's Avatar
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    My favorites are...

    Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AIS (but, you're not gonna get one for under $100).
    Nikon 100mm f/2.8 series E (a less expensive compromise)
    Pentax SMC Takumar 135mm f/2.5 (not so easy to find anymore).

    there were a few exceptional third party lenses in the 90mm focal length too...though I cannot remember the good ones anymore.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffreyg View Post
    If you can find a micro Nikkor 105 it would give you macro capabilities as well.

    [U]http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
    For less than $100?
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #7
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    I already have bought a macro lens (55/3.5) from a fellow member here in APUG. I guess the most viable option for me is a Nikkor 105mm Auto-P? Saw one for a nice price. Anyone here who has tried that lens?

  8. #8
    drumminor2nd's Avatar
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    Hunt down a non-AI Nikkor 105/2.5 lens. You can find it for under $100, or only slightly more. You have an FTn, so there's no need for a later lens.

    There are different versions of the lens, the older being better for portraits, but still a sharp monster. I have a late Non-AI lens of the newer design, and it kicks tail over pretty much anything I've ever used.

    At KEH.com right now:
    The old version

    The newer version

    They made a jagillion of them because, well, they had to keep up with demand for such an awesome lens. It wasn't until most news pros switched to Canon in the '90s when they dumped the old 105.

  9. #9
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    I'd also suggest a non-AI Nikkor 105 2.5.

    In M42, Schacht 90mm 2.8 or Meyer 100mm 2.8 would fit your bill.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #10
    CGW
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    The Nikon E series lenses lack the prong that engages the Nikkormat's metering post. The 100/2.8 is a very sweet lens that punches way above its weight, as does the 75-150 zoom.

    There's also the superb old 85/1.8 NAI Nikkor. The 105/4 MicroNikkor is also nice.

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